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Ferrum Newsstand
Appalachian Storyteller to
Perform at Ferrum College

For immediate release:

 Released by: Effie Shockley

March 27, 2002

(540) 365-5580/

            Ferrum, Va. – Appalachian storyteller Orville Hicks will perform at Ferrum College on Monday, April 15, at 4 p.m. in Flexible Theatre. Hicks delivers animated stories about Jack, a youngest son seeking a fortune. Hicks, also a youngest son (of 11 children) intertwines encounters from his own childhood with fictional tales about Jack.

            Hicks' performances are representative of mountain folk tradition. His storytelling entertains a broad spectrum of individuals of all ages. “In every case, Orville Hicks shows a special gift for recalling the local stories that bring listeners close to his community and its past,” says Thomas McGowan, a professor at Appalachian State University who studies Hicks and his storytelling. Professor McGowan will introduce Hicks at this performance.

            A member of the Hicks-Harmon Beech Mountain Jack Tale Tradition, Hicks has appeared at Ferrum College several times in conjunction with Dr. Rex Stephenson, professor of drama and director of the college’s Jack Tale Players.

            Hicks grew up on a farm in western Watauga County, North Carolina. According to The North Carolina Tourist Artist Directory, “Through his storytelling, Hicks depicts the good and hard times of his childhood. Growing up featured storytelling as an important entertainment, work incentive, and expression of family and community unity.”

            Hicks works as a supervisor at the Appalachian Cultural Museum. He also spends time visiting classes at Appalachian State University. Hicks also provides his storytelling for schools, festivals, and universities.

            Hicks’ available recorded storytelling includes Hardest Whipping, Declaration of Independence, Red Devil Suit, Jack and the Heifer Heid, and Uglied Them To Death (recording title – Orville Hicks: Mule Egg Seller & Appalachian Storyteller).

            Hicks' appearance at Ferrum College is sponsored by the Integrated Programming Board (IPB) and the Jack Tale Players. This event is free and open to the public.

            For more information, contact Dr. Lana Whited, associate professor of English, at 365-4334 or

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